It’s smart to start saving as soon as you start thinking about buying a home. The larger your down payment, the less you’ll have to borrow and the lower your interest costs will be.
You can buy a home with as little as 5% of the purchase price as a down payment from your own savings. On a home that costs $300,000, that would be $15,000.
If your down payment is 20% or more of the home price, you’ll qualify for a conventional or collateral mortgage. If it is less than 20%, it is a high-ratio conventional mortgage, and you’ll need to insure it with . This one-time insurance premium is usually added to your mortgage or it can be paid up front.
In addition, you must have enough cash to cover . For a high-ratio mortgage, you must have at least 1.5% of the purchase price from your own resources to cover or contribute to the closing costs in order to qualify for mortgage default insurance.
There are many sources you may be able to tap into, including:
- Personal savings. Review your chequing and savings accounts and Tax-Free Savings Accounts.
- Retirement Savings Plans (RSPs). Under the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), you and your spouse or common-law partner may be allowed to withdraw up to $25,000 each from your RSP as a tax-free loan that you pay back in equal installments over 15 years. .
- Gifts from family. This could be a one-time gift or accumulated cash gifts from special occasions.
- Assets. Check for insurance dividends, Canada Savings Bonds (CSBs), Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), term deposits, non-registered equities.
- Unexpected income. An income tax refund, work bonus or the extra income from a raise are all potential sources.